Friday May 15th 2020

Belinda Fox in her studio, The Hague, 2020.

Reflection on catching the Zoom Bus to Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco for a Virtual Gallery tour.

It seems ‘we’ have a name now, AZ-B or Art Zoom Bus. A good friend of mine thinks the name kind of lame. But that’s kind of how I like it. The Zoom-Bus name originated early in lockdown when I arranged a Zoom social event (read wine or coffee) with people who I usually only see annually at a conference. We were checking in online with each other and my thumbs were fatigued from texting so I set up a call. That conference was meant to be in Lisbon, in May. Each year there are some wonderful excursions at the end of a long day to wind down and it is often to a gallery or museum with dining and wine. Everyone dresses up but there are no limousines or taxis, there are usually a few chartered buses. It always sets an informal and fun tone to pile into a bus together whilst relatively formally dressed.

Our conference friends are from many countries and time zones so we decided to repeat the social event at various times to bring in people in lockdown from all over the world. I thought it might be fun to replicate online what we would usually do as the social element of a conference and arranged a curated tour of Michael Reid Gallery in Berlin with the lovely Laura Thompson. Some couldn’t make it and asked for more so I arranged a second gallery event!

I’ve always liked gallery openings not to see the art. They are the worst time to see the art. Noise, people, distraction, the comings and goings (the drunks, what, me? Never!). They are a great time to learn about the art and then you go and have a longer look at your leisure online or in the gallery…. later! At openings you are likely to meet the artist, their friends and family, people who are passionate about or interested in the work and have a deep well of knowledge and insight into the work and art generally. You may think I am overusing the word ‘work’. Making art is work. It requires skill, isolation, dedication, sacrifice, passion and stubbornness.

On our second Zoom-bus tour we were invited to Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco by the Director, Christina Maybaum,   to see the work of Belinda Fox, an Australian artist, who resides in The Hague.

Belinda Fox has a studio in The Hague where we met some years ago. Knowing that her exhibition opening in San Francisco was likely shut down by the Pandemic I asked if we could perhaps tour it virtually. At first it was somewhat complicated but when Christina, the Director, was able to access the works, the gallery and get across town we were invited to visit! Belinda was able to come onto the call to answer questions and tell us about her work. Christina was a champion, it is not easy to walk around a gallery holding up an iPad for an hour while talking (I do hope your arms have recovered)!

It was a total pleasure to have the artist and the gallery on the same call from The Hague and San Francisco. Our audience participants joined from The Hague, Los Angeles, Denmark, NYC, Paris, Sydney, Athens, England and Scotland.

The scope of the call really didn’t seem like enough time to explore Belinda’s work with the depth I think it deserves. Her ability to commit herself one hundred percent to each location she lives in, and to every medium she encounters, is impressive. The wall hung works blend technique acquired from training as a printmaker, painting, drawing, textile elements and collage. This artist is not easily intimidated by a new challenge. While living in The Netherlands she worked in glass, a completely new medium, with a contemporary Dutch glass studio. Into the glass Belinda channelled. Work produced was exhibited, and then acquired, for the prestigious collection of the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag. Printmaking at the level Belinda Fox has mastered is something I never quite had the patience and precision to achieve. To take it beyond the technical mastery of working as a master printer and be able to experiment and break new ground in your own work is another level again.

I’ll attach a few links to works, articles and information I know you will enjoy. Perhaps have a look and feel free to share it before we take the Art Zoom Bus to Belinda’s studio in The Netherlands which we are planning for a future excursion!

If you’d like to enquire with Maybaum Gallery about the catalogue or the works or perhaps join the mailing list please contact Christina:

info@maybaumgallery.com

 or call 415-658-7669 

49 Geary Street, Suite 416, San Francisco, CA 94108

You are also welcome to contact me with questions, or suggestions for AZ-B tours.

Thanks for coming!

Lisa x

Published by lisamckimmie

I am an artist and teacher currently living and working in The Netherlands (May, 2020). I am Australian and have lived outside of Australia since 2001. I studied undergraduate Visual Arts at Edith Cowan University in Perth, completed my Masters in Visual Arts at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Sydney and studied printmaking at the National Art School, Darlinghurst, Sydney. I worked in Sydney in contemporary art galleries up until I left Australia and wrote and presented Professional Arts Practice lectures and seminars to final year undergraduates at the NAS. Outside of Australia since 2001 I have tutored and taught art privately including distance tutoring online. While living in Singapore I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Education, Visual Arts with Monash University. Currently in The Netherlands I paint and draw, in pandemic lockdown, in a small studio in the forest of De Paauuw thanks to the generosity of Dutch artist and printmaker, Florence Fernhout and the Wassenaar Gemeente. Our May 2020 exhibition at Pulchri Gallery in Den Haag (The Hague) was cancelled due to corona virus controls. To break the isolation and bring attention to artists and their works (including current exhibitions in lockdown or cancelled) I started the Art Zoom-Bus, AZ-B. Initially AZ-B was to bring together friends and colleagues who usually meet annually at a conference. This years conference (in Lisbon) was cancelled. Though the work has gone online and continues, the social outings that give everyone a work/leisure balance, do not. Social outings are often to galleries and museums so, at the suggestion of friends in lockdown in remote places, we went online for gallery and studio tours! Other friends have joined the tours now and so we have AZ-B!

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